Conley Fitzpatrick - CMO of Dano’s
snack break | dano’s – tequila with a story
For the inaugural post of Snack Break, we dive into the land of Tequila. In December of 2018 a tequila connoisseur (Dano) and a long-time family owned craft distillery (Hacienda de Reyes) partnered up to create Dano’s Tequila. Together, they developed the infusion for enjoyment in the U.S. The 100% agave tequila from Dano’s is currently offered in four varieties – Infused, Blanco, Reposado and Añejo. The latter winning 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competion’s best Añejo.
For a closer look into Dano’s Tequila we interviewed Conley Fitzpatrick, the CMO of Dano’s. She began her career on the agency side, across a diverse group of verticals, including financial, pharma, tech and wine + spirits. From there, she moved brand-side, most recently having worked for Diageo on the Cîroc Vodka and Deleon Tequila brands. That’s why Conley’s chosen path to joining Dano’s was a no-brainer.
What learnings have you taken from your time at Diageo that are applicable to your new role at a more boutique brand? At a large public company it is essential that you track and manage each activity spend and results. I always try to act like an owner, whether that means going above and beyond the general duties of the job or negotiating to always ensure I’m getting the best value. What I love about this role at Dano’s is I can be so nimble. The only approval I need is that of our CEO, who is always game to try something new and pivot when needed. I feel really lucky to be in this position with Dano’s so that we can test and learn as we grow the brand.
Can you describe the typical Dano’s customer? We are such a young brand, that I wouldn’t say we appeal to just one type of consumer from a demographic standpoint, but I do think our consumers share certain key traits. First of all, Dano’s consumers are open to new experiences, which is probably why they tried Dano’s in the first place! They are seeking something more authentic. When people hear the Dano’s story, they can’t wait to try it. We are very proud of our liquid and our method of truly hand-crafted tequila.
What are your key goals for the brand, and are you looking to reposition the brand’s messaging, or keep the course and focus on increasing awareness? Dano’s has achieved great success in a short period of time, so we look forward to continuing to expand into new markets and increase our sales with a growing consumer base. We aren’t looking to change direction in terms of our messaging because we believe Dano’s story is an enduring and authentic one that will continue to resonate with people looking for a top of the line tequila at a good price!
What is the tone of the brand’s messaging and visual imagery? Our packaging is a nod to the traditional and features a hand-drawn agave plant, signifying the 100% agave we use in all of our tequilas. We have recently rolled out some new point of sale, which will highlight our key product benefits, including the 100% agave message as well as another critically important message for us: Zero Additives. No use of coloring, dyes, fructose, or additives of any kind.
I know that you have refocused your efforts on e-commerce and virtual happy hours as a result of COVID-19. What has the response to that been and how do you see the spirits industry as a whole being transformed in light of the pandemic? Prior to social distancing and the effects of the pandemic, large spirits brands were able to leverage their dollars to get entry into the biggest events or sponsorships to get them more share of voice. I think this levels the playing field a bit. Creativity allows small brands like Dano’s to compete in a way we couldn’t before. And I think importantly, there are different ways to connect with consumers and it can be really meaningful and long-term. Myself and our CEO spend time weekly chatting with fans of the brand, or those who have never heard of us but are curious to know more and learn how to make a cocktail with a virtual demonstration. I think that’s valuable for all.
What is your favorite way to drink tequila, and what is your favorite food to pair with it? In the past I enjoyed margaritas, but since joining Dano’s I’ve taken to sipping our Añejo on a big ice cube, because it’s just that good, or enjoying Blanco with club soda and a lime. As for food pairings, I think you can’t go wrong with traditional Mexican food, but I also love a big plate of crudités and hummus with my Blanco, or charcuterie with my Añejo!
Anything to add? Thanks so much for taking the time to ‘chat’ with me. I love sharing the Dano’s story, and I hope you’ll give it a try. We are available on Reservebar.com (with free shipping while supplies last using code SHIPDANOS) and if we’re not in your state yet, hold tight, we’re coming for you. Cheers!